Lightning Source, Inc. Ebooks By creating an 'idea of America,' popular New World travel writing offered an understanding of America through British eyes, and a lens through which nineteenth-century Britain could view itself. Nineteenth-Century British Travelers in the New World demonstrates the importance of nineteenth-century New World travel writing, examining narratives by some of the popular writers of the day, as well as paintings and drawings by travelling artists.
Taylor & Francis Publishing With cheaper publishing costs and the explosion of periodical publishing, the influence of New World travel narratives was greater during the nineteenth century than ever before, as they offered an understanding not only of America through British eyes, but also a lens though which nineteenth-century Britain could view itself. Despite the differences in purpose and method, the writers and artists discussed in Nineteenth-Century British Travelers in the New World-from Fanny Wright arriving in America in 1818 to the return of Henry James in 1904, and including Charles Dickens, Frances Trollope, Isabella Bird, Fanny Kemble, Harriet Martineau, and Robert Louis Stevenson among others, as well as artists such as Eyre Crowe-all contributed to the continued building of America as a construct for audiences at home. These travelers' stories and images thus presented an idea of America over which Britons could crow about their own supposed sophistication, and a democratic model through which to posit their own future, all of which suggests the importance of transatlantic travel writing and the â€˜idea of Americaâ€™ to nineteenth-century Britain.